Premium Interiors for Mid-Range Prices (Less Than $50,000)
What type of interior can buyers expect to get in a moderately priced 2020 vehicle? As it turns out, quite a bit—at least in the top-ranked models.
Autotrader’s list of 10 Best Car Interiors for vehicles under $50,000 shows a range of SUV/crossovers, plus two cars (yes, they still make these) and a full-size pickup truck.
Those making the cut and their base MSRP are the:
- Hyundai Sonata ($23,600)
- Mazda CX-5 ($25,190)
- Toyota RAV4 ($25,950)
- Ram 1500 ($27,945)
- Kia Telluride ($31,890)
- Jeep Gladiator ($33,545)
- Genesis G70 ($35,450)
- Lincoln Corsair ($35,945)
- Mercedes-Benz GLB ($36,600)
- Volvo V60 ($39,650)
Four start at under $30,000, including the Hyundai Sonata midsize sedan and the Ram 1500 pickup. Although top-end variants of the latter can set buyers back close to $60,000.
According to Kelley Blue Book, the average transaction price last month for a new vehicle sold in the U.S. was $37,851, which is up 3.5% from January 2019 (due in part to the sales mix increasingly favoring crossovers, SUVs and trucks). Autotrader and KBB both are owned by Atlanta-based Cox Automotive.
The all-new midsize car sports Hyundai’s latest design language. Autotrader is especially impressed by the sharpness of the car’s infotainment displays, which are described as “truly a level above the competition.”
Autotrader praises Mazda’s compact crossover for its upscale design and plush leather seats. It also touts the vehicle’s one-touch window controls, an “unbelievably precise” hazard lights button and the fact that the doors close with a “hearty, satisfying thud.”
The interior of Toyota’s small crossover is highlighted by its ergonomic design, clever storage—including a shelf that runs the width of the dashboard—and rubberized HVAC dials, which are described as pleasing to handle and rotating with “upscale precision.” In short, Autotrader says the RAV4 is “a nice place to be.”
The little things add up in the fullsize pickup. This includes the use of quality materials, high-end audio systems, ergonomic features and top-notch touchpoints, according to Autotrader’s evaluation, which praise’s Ram’s commitment to interior design and comfort.
Kia’s midsize crossover gets kudos for having a well-executed three-row seating layout. The top-end SX model also is recognized for its Nappa leather seating, premium headliner and simulated wood trim.
The utility of Jeep’s all-new SUV/pickup, which features a small cargo bed, continues into the interior. This includes loads of storage and connectivity ports, a soft-touch dashboard and Fiat Chrysler’s latest Uconnect infotainment system with a water-resistant rubberized frame.
Lincoln’s compact crossover shares features with the luxury brand’s larger models—and it shows. The Corsair gets high marks for having “clean horizontal lines” across the dashboard and a “pleasing mix” of glossy and matte surfaces.
Autotrader hails the Genesis model as the best performance sedan on the market, thanks to the vehicle’s driving dynamics and upscale cabin. Interior goodies include contrast stitching, available diamond pattern seating surfaces and a good mix of leather, rubber and brushed aluminum.
For starters, the Mercedes compact crossover is applauded for offering three rows of seating. The GLB also benefits from the brand’s latest infotainment system and rounded, chrome air vents.
Autotrader says the V60 epitomizes Volvo's “calming, minimalist Scandinavian design,” with a good balance of value and utility. Standout options include wool trim and “charming” plaid patterns.
Plenty of interior components are injection molded. But some companies—such as VW—are using a process for trim pieces that both mold a component and cover it in fabric in a single molding process. And it is coming to the U.S. in the not-too-distant future.
Ram Truck chief exterior designer Joe Dehner talks about how they’ve developed the all-new pickup. “We’ve been building trucks for over 100 years,” he says. “Best I could come up with is that this is our 15th-generation truck.”
Here’s a look at how Johnson Controls creates leading interiors as well as cool ideas for clever products.